International Credit Union Day Celebrated Across the Northwest, World
October 26, 2021
Last Thursday, Oct. 21, was International Credit Union Day—an annual reflection on the global Credit Union Movement and celebration of all the ways credit unions contribute to a brighter future for more than 274 million members in 118 countries around the world.
This year’s International Credit Union Day theme, “Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow,” inspired Northwest credit unions to celebrate the day in wide variety of ways, from hosting giveaways on social media to volunteering with local nonprofits. As with every year, 2021 proved to be another inspiring demonstration of the Northwest’s unwavering commitment to the “People Helping People” philosophy.
Here’s a round-up of activities across the region:
Seventeen Spokane-area credit unions joined forces to provide a makeover to two local non-profits— Transitions and Family Promise of Spokane—hand-picked for their commitment to ending the cycle of poverty and providing crucial housing for women, children, and families in Spokane. As part of the effort, more than 70 credit union volunteers spent the day filling flowerbeds, preparing playground spaces, building a storage shed, and assembling welcome kits for those in need.
In addition to their hard work the credit unions also made a $40,000 contribution to be split by the two non-profits—a fund raising effort that brought in $10,000 more than the original fundraising goal.
Participating credit unions included Alaska USA Credit Union, BECU, Canopy Credit Union, Cheney Federal Credit Union, Gesa Credit Union, Global Credit Union, Horizon Credit Union, Numerica Credit Union, PrimeSource Credit Union, Progressions Credit Union, Responders Emergency Services Credit Union, Safeway Employees Federal Credit Union, Spokane City Credit Union, Spokane Firefighters Credit Union, Spokane Media Federal Credit Union, STCU and WSECU.
Five Pasco, Washington-area credit unions partnered on a clothing drive and fundraiser benefitting the Pasco, Washington Goodwill. Together, Gesa Credit Union, HAPO Community Credit Union, Numerica Credit Union, STCU, and Tri-CU donated $10,000 and an abundance of clothing to benefit Goodwill clients.
Additionally, the participating credit unions generated free financial tips and educational worksheets that were made available on Goodwill’s website. To incentivize the public to take advantage of these assets, all clothing donation recipients who complete a worksheet will receive an additional outfit for future job interviews.
HAPO Community Credit Union, based in Richland, Wash., collaborated with Mid-Columbia Libraries to provide financial education to local students. During a tour of several schools, credit union employees educated more than 300 students about how to create healthy money habits.
Seattle-based BECU partnered with Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions to bring together a dynamic panel of global credit union leaders to talk about credit unions and financial health. Called Global Connections, the program helps build bridges among global credit union colleagues on International Credit Union Day. HAPO Community Credit Union took part in international video conference call “to look beyond the walls of our credit union and local communities to broaden our perspective and knowledge on how credit unions are transforming lives worldwide.”
Portland-based Unitus Community Credit Union highlighted its financial education partners, Junior Achievement and Financial Beginnings, online. Junior Achievement of Oregon and Southwest Washington provides K-12 students the knowledge and skills they need to manage their money, plan for their futures, and realize opportunities for work and life. Financial Beginnings Oregon partners with schools and community-based organizations to provide free, unbiased financial education and programming across Oregon. Unitus supports these partners through sponsorship and paid employee volunteerism. In 2021, Unitus provided $10,000 to each organization to support and expand youth, adult, and low- to moderate-income programming.
CapEd Credit Union, based in Meridian, Idaho, offered International Credit Union Day celebratory treats at its locations.
InRoads Credit Union, based in St. Helens, Ore., celebrated International Credit Union Day by performing random acts of kindness. Members visiting the credit union’s branches and visitors to local coffee shops were surprised with coffee cards to mark the occasion.
Lewiston, Idaho-based P1FCU celebrated by offering members at its Lewiston – Warner, Post Falls, and Walla Walla branches a “Shred Day.” Members could bring up to three boxes of documents to shred trucks available at each location
Here’s a summary of how Northwest Micro-Communities celebrated the day:
Five Boise, Idaho-area credit unions, all part of the Southwest Idaho Chapter of Credit Unions and the Capitol Chapter of Credit Unions, helped the St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store in Meridian with an ongoing remodel. About 15 credit union volunteers spent the morning disassembling shelves, removing carpet, grinding the concrete floor, and rebuilding shelving. St. Vincent de Paul was chosen because of their commitment to preventing homelessness in Southwest Idaho by assisting people in need with food, housing expenses, clothing, furniture, and other basic human needs. Participating credit unions included Horizon Credit Union, Clarity Credit Union, Idaho Central Credit Union, Rogue Credit Union, and Pioneer Federal Credit Union.
The Southwest Washington Chapter of Credit Unions held its fourth annual joint community service event. This year, the group helped at the Habitat for Humanity Store in Vancouver, Wash., and assisted with tasks and labor to free up counselors’ time to help victims at the Emergency Support Shelter in Cowlitz County.
The Pierce County Chapter of Credit Unions held its annual meeting and board elections in conjunction with a legislative event and International Credit Union Day celebration. NWCUA’s VP, Legislative Affairs for Washington Joe Adamack provided a legislative update and the group was joined by six legislators who shared recaps on the 2021 legislative sessions and outlooks for what is to come in 2022.
In lieu of an in-person ICU Day Dinner (canceled due to COVID), the North Idaho Chapter of Credit Unions got creative with technology, highlighting their chapter credit unions on social media in the days leading up to ICU Day.
The Pocatello Chapter of Credit Unions volunteered at a local food bank during the morning and then held their quarterly meeting that afternoon.